What Is Paclitaxel Used For?
Paclitaxel uses are primarily concerned with the treatment of breast cancer, lung cancer, and ovarian cancer. Healthcare providers may also occasionally recommend paclitaxel for "off-label" uses, such as treating head and neck cancer and bladder cancer. Since children may be more sensitive to the side effects of the medicine, paclitaxel is approved for use only in adults.
Paclitaxel (Taxol®) is a prescription medication used to treat breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and lung cancer. It is part of a group of chemotherapy medications called taxanes. Specifically, paclitaxel is approved to treat the following types of cancer:
- Ovarian cancer: The medication is used alone or in combination with cisplatin (Platinol®) for advanced ovarian cancer (cancer that has spread or is starting to spread to other parts of the body).
- Node-positive breast cancer: Paclitaxel can be part of a chemotherapy regimen containing doxorubicin (Adriamycin®) for node-positive breast cancer that has spread to a lymph node after breast cancer surgery.
- Mestatic breast cancer: The drug can treat metastatic breast cancer that has spread to other parts of the body after other chemotherapy regimens have failed.
- Recurrent breast cancer: Paclitaxel can be used to treat breast cancer that has returned within six months of chemotherapy after breast cancer surgery.
- Non-small cell lung cancer: Paclitaxel is often used with cisplatin to treat non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) that is not likely to be cured by surgery or radiation.
- AIDS-related Kaposi's sarcoma: The medication can be used to treat AIDS-related Kaposi's sarcoma that has not responded to other treatments.